World-wide superstar Kylie Minogue’s 11th album, “Aphrodite,” releases Tuesday in the U.S. It’s easily the best album of her career, filled with dance pop goodness to help us forget any of life’s doldrums or banality that sometimes creep in.
Produced by Stuart Price—known for his production work with Madonna and the Killers, among others, in addition to his work as a successful DJ and performer—the album flows and packs a collective dance/pop punch.
Minogue is no stranger to gay audiences, having cultivated a strong fan base among the gays over the years. To show her gay fans some love, she previewed a few tracks from “Aphrodite” at Splash in New York and the Aussie diva performed as the finale for Madrid Pride on July 3.
Tuesday’s U.S. release comes just one day after the rest of the world. Since this is the first time American fans have been able to buy the album at the same time as everyone else, here’s hoping Minogue will see better U.S. sales and finally take her much-deserved place among dance pop giants like Madonna who, despite her longevity and my great love for her, can’t hold a candle to Minogue.
Work it, Kylie. Your legion of faithful fans is ready. Here’s a quick look at each track:
“All the Lovers”
From the first lyrics, “Dance/ It’s all I want to do,” Min lets us know she’s bringing the heat on “Aphrodite” and “All the Lovers is a perfect beginning. “Lovers” works us up with dreamy production and breathy vocals, culminating in a killer dance break and a slow cool-down.
“Get Outta My Way”
Pulsing with life and energy that would make an excellent single, Minogue grooves to a pumping beat and euphoric instrumentation on this one. Listen for it at the clubs for the rest of the summer.
“Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)”
OK, so this track won’t win anyone songwriting awards anytime soon, but it’s fantastic pop music and is catchy as Hell, so just give in and let the good times roll. Oh, and put your hands up.
This one had to grow on me, but it reminds me of one of my favorite Kylie tracks from the past, “Confide in Me,” so I like it. There’s a little creepy thrown into the instrumentation, but sometimes love (or lust) sneaks up on us, just like a killer in an on-screen thriller.
“Everything is Beautiful”
This could make an excellent single in the fall or winter, and reminds me a little of “Early Winter” by Gwen Stefani. The production is lush, dreamy, and ethereal, but there’s some funk folded into the track, which was co-written by Tim Rice-Oxley of Keane.
The title track is Kylie’s “Hollaback Girl” or “Lose My Breath” moment: drums, synth-fueled instrumentation, and plenty of sass make this track the glittering centerpiece of the album. Minogue is basically telling us she knows she’s hot and we love her for it: “I’m fierce and I’m feeling mighty/ I’m a golden girl, I’m Aphrodite.” This track is screaming to be released as a single as well.
Maybe it’s because it follows the kick-ass title track, but “Illusion” is the weakest track on the album. Still, it might grow on me like “Sensitized” did on “X.” After a sleepy intro, the beat kicks in and Kylie coos and slinks through Price’s production.
“Better Than Today”
This one is a fun romp through the ‘80s and sounds like something from a Scissor Sisters album. Min gave fans a sneak peek at this track on her wildly successful North American tour last year and would make a great single.
Written by Minogue, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, and Calvin Harris, this is the album’s equivalent of “Wow.” Glittering production is propped up by funky synths and keyboard work as Minogue’s vocals soar over the virtual dance floor. This one would probably be a very successful dance single.
This also would fare well on the Billboard dance charts. It builds and swirls to a stunning climax that brings the album to a close nicely. Except it’s not the last track.
“Looking for an Angel”
Minogue is all pop on this track, and that’s totally OK. The light, airy and wistful chorus is light as a feather and lets us float on a dance beat as we slowly come back to earth after the cosmic fabulosity of “Too Much” and “Cupid Boy.”
“Can’t Beat the Feeling”
The perfect coda to Minogue’s dance pop masterpiece, modern production is packed with retro-sounding synths that recall Minogue’s past hits but places her squarely in the here and now.
Professional university administrator by day and roving entertainment reporter by night, Buck Cooke moved to Atlanta in 2000. Armed with a passion for pop culture and rabid appetite for music, Buck scours the entertainment landscape for treasures in music, TV and cinema.
Of course, supporting your local gay retailers with your hard-copy music purchases is always encouraged. Remember Brushstrokes and Outwrite when you’re out shopping for CDs, DVDs and other gay sundries. Both places are great about orders for out-of-stock items, too.